Rural school officials: Give Texas teachers guns

rural schoolAUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Superintendents of three small rural school districts that allow some teachers to carry guns told Texas lawmakers Monday that the practice provides a critical measure of safety for students in the event of a campus shooting, but a law enforcement expert said it also could put those teachers at “high risk” of being mistakenly shot by responding officers.

Lawmakers are grappling with the idea of allowing more non-law enforcement personnel to bring guns into classrooms in the wake of last month’s shootings at a Connecticut elementary school. The rural school officials testified during a joint hearing of the Senate education and agriculture, rural affairs and homeland security committees — the first such hearing to take public testimony on the matter.

David Thweatt, superintendent of Harrold Independent School District near the Oklahoma border, said some teachers and administrators who have concealed handgun licenses are allowed to bring their weapons to class. The goal, he said, is to minimize the damage a gunman can do inside a school in the time it takes police officers to arrive.

“If you can stop it in its inception, you have an obligation to do that,” Thweatt said.

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